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TightVent Europe is a platform, formed in January 2011, with a focus on building and ductwork airtightness issues.The creation of the platform was triggered by the need for a strong and concerted initiative to meet the Directive on the energy performance of buildings ambitious targets for the year 2020 and overcome the challenges in relation to the envelope and ductwork leakage towards the generalization of nearly zero-energy buildings. The platform’s main activities, among others, include the production and dissemination of policy oriented publications, networking among local or national airtightness associations, as well as the organization of conferences, workshops and webinars.
Building airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points or areas in the building envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the building envelope due to the combined effects of stack, external wind and mechanical ventilation systems.
Ductwork airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through the ductwork envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the ductwork envelope due to the combined effects of stack and fan operation.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is the European Union's’s main legislative instrument aiming to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the Community. It was inspired by the Kyoto Protocol which commits the EU and all its parties by setting binding emission reduction targets.
TightVent Europe was launched and initiated in January 2011 by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance), a registered European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) whose members include building research centres in Europe.Since then, the platform has received the financial and/or technical support from its partners: Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BlowerDoor GmbH, Lindab, MEZ-TECHNIK, Retrotec, Eurima, Soudal, Industrias Gonal and SIGA.
Soudal is a Belgian company whose headquarters is located in Turnhout (Belgium). The company has developed into one of the most important independent producers of silicone and caulks, polyurethane-foams, and adhesives in Europe.
The target audience of the TightVent Europe activities ranges from the research community over designers, practitioners, supply industry to European, national and regional government policy makers.It includes policy makers, training centres, designers, engineers and builders, air leakage testers, local and national airtightness associations, research and technical centres.
In September 2012, TightVent Europe launched the TightVent Airtightness Associations Committee (TightVent TAAC committee) with the primary goal to promote reliable testing and reporting procedures.At present, the participants are from Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, UK and the US. The scope of this committees includes various aspects such as:
Since 2011, TightVent Europe has published 6 reportsin the fields of building and ductwork airtightness. The first publication on the challenges for building and ductwork airtightness was released in 2011 entitled as: “Critical steps for a wide scale implementation of building and ductwork airtightness”. It included an introductory paper browsing the issues of concern and collect a series of technical documents, namely those produced within the ASIEPI project as well as within the SAVE-DUCT and AIRWAYS projects. Another publication: “Methods and techniques for airtight buildings” was released in 2012, with an overview to the design principles and construction methods for building airtightness. Moreover, the publication: "Building air leakage databases in energy conservation policies: Analysis of selected initiatives in 4 European countries and the USA" was also released in 2012 with information on existing envelope air leakage databases from five countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK and USA. Furthermore,another report was produced in close collaboration with the AIVC, "Building airtightness: a critical review of testing reporting and quality schemes in 10 countries", in 2012; a review of testing and reporting about building airtightness and quality management issues for achieving a good airtightness in 10 countries.In 2013, TightVent Europe published "Building and ductwork airtightness: Selected papers from the REHVA special journal issue on ‘airtightness’" composed of relevant contributions from the special issue on airtightness of the REHVA journal.
Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) is the International Energy Agency information centre on energy efficient ventilation of buildings.
TightVent Europe publishes a biannual newsletter with up to date information on developments in respect to building and ductwork airtightness, including policy issues, publications, events, innovative technologies, case studies and research activities.
Annual Conference Since 2011, TightVent Europe holds a joint annual conference together with the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre in September/October in one of the AIVC participating countries, with a track devoted to building and ductwork airtightness.
Workshops & Webinars Besides the publications and conferences TightVent Europe key activities include the organization of workshops and webinars. Some of the webinars are targeted at a specific region, some at the specific topic (e.g., sharing national experience on air leakage databases), some at training and some at industry.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC system design is a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. "Refrigeration" is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation, as HVAC&R or HVACR or "ventilation" is dropped, as in HACR.
Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space and is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used for purposes of thermal comfort or dehumidification.
A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork airtightness and to help physically locate air leakage sites in the building envelope.
A revolving door typically consists of three or four doors that hang on a central shaft and rotate around a vertical axis within a cylindrical enclosure. Revolving doors are energy efficient as they prevent drafts, thus decreasing the loss of heating or cooling for the building. Revolving doors were designed to relieve stack effect pressure in buildings. High-rise buildings experience immense pressure caused by air rushing through the building, referred to as 'Stack Effect' pressure. At the same time, revolving doors allow large numbers of people to pass in and out.
A hermetic seal is any type of sealing that makes a given object airtight. The term originally applied to airtight glass containers, but as technology advanced it applied to a larger category of materials, including rubber and plastics. Hermetic seals are essential to the correct and safe functionality of many electronic and healthcare products. Used technically, it is stated in conjunction with a specific test method and conditions of use.
Superinsulation is an approach to building design, construction, and retrofitting that dramatically reduces heat loss by using much higher levels of insulation and airtightness than normal. Superinsulation is one of the ancestors of the passive house approach.
Displacement ventilation (DV) It is a room air distribution strategy where conditioned outdoor air is supplied at a low velocity from air supply diffusers located near floor level and extracted above the occupied zone, usually at ceiling height.
Passive cooling is a building design approach that focuses on heat gain control and heat dissipation in a building in order to improve the indoor thermal comfort with low or no energy consumption. This approach works either by preventing heat from entering the interior or by removing heat from the building. Natural cooling utilizes on-site energy, available from the natural environment, combined with the architectural design of building components, rather than mechanical systems to dissipate heat. Therefore, natural cooling depends not only on the architectural design of the building but on how the site's natural resources are used as heat sinks. Examples of on-site heat sinks are the upper atmosphere, the outdoor air (wind), and the earth/soil.
Ducts are conduits or passages used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. The needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Ducts commonly also deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
Pressurisation duct work is a passive fire protection system. It is used to supply fresh air to any area of refuge, designated emergency evacuation or egress route.
A dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) is a type of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that consists of two parallel systems: a dedicated system for delivering outdoor air ventilation that handles both the latent and sensible loads of conditioning the ventilation air, and a parallel system to handle the loads generated by indoor/process sources and those that pass through the building enclosure.
A duct leakage tester is a diagnostic tool designed to measure the airtightness of forced air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. A duct leakage tester consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan flow measurements are used to determine the ductwork airtightness. The airtightness of ductwork is useful knowledge when trying to improve energy conservation.
venticool is an international platform formed in 2012 focusing on ventilative cooling issues, with the overall goal to "mobilize the ventilative cooling potential in terms of energy conservation, health, and comfort".
The Indoor Environmental Quality Global Alliance (IEQ-GA) was initiated in 2014 aiming to improve the actual, delivered indoor environmental quality in buildings through coordination, education, outreach and advocacy. The alliance works to supply information, guidelines and knowledge on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings and workplaces, and to provide occupants in buildings and workplaces with an acceptable indoor environmental quality and help promote implementation in practice of knowledge from research on the field.
The International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme, formerly known as the Energy in Buildings and Community Systems Programme (ECBCS), is one of the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). The Programme "carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment".
Ventilative cooling is the use of natural or mechanical ventilation to cool indoor spaces. The use of outside air reduces the cooling load and the energy consumption of these systems, while maintaining high quality indoor conditions. Ventilative cooling strategies are applied in a wide range of buildings and may even be critical to realize renovated or new high efficient buildings and zero-energy buildings (ZEBs). Ventilation is present in buildings mainly for air quality reasons. It can be used additionally to remove both excess heat gains, as well as increase the velocity of the air and thereby widen the thermal comfort range. Ventilative cooling is assessed by long-term evaluation indices .Ventilative cooling is dependent on the availability of appropriate external conditions and on the thermal physical characteristics of the building.